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Ange Postecoglou warns Tottenham: Life will never be comfortable during my reign

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou wants his team to get back to winning ways against Newcastle (Martin Rickett/PA)
Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou wants his team to get back to winning ways against Newcastle (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ange Postecoglou is unequivocal in his belief that Tottenham will come through this tough period but has warned his squad, life will never be comfortable during his reign.

Spurs claimed an unwanted Premier League record on Thursday night when they went ahead for a fifth-consecutive Premier League match, but again failed to hold on with West Ham able to secure a 2-1 away win.

It continued the club’s poor run of results, which has coincided with their squad being depleted by injuries and suspensions but the latest example of Postecoglou’s team taking the lead and throwing it away sparked debate over the historic ‘Spursy’ tag.

While Postecoglou insisted rival fans using that word was akin to playground chat, he acknowledged his players must embrace the pressure if they are to be part of his journey in north London.

“That’s schoolyard stuff. All I need to know is that this club hasn’t won anything for 15 years. That’s all I need to know,” Postecoglou said ahead of Sunday’s visit of Newcastle.

“Why that is and why others may think that is and whatever tag, that’s the reality. There’s no getting away from that.

“There’s no point in me trying to disguise that, or anybody else at this football club trying to disguise that.

“If you want to be successful, then like most organisations, you’ve got to learn from the mistakes of the past, you’ve got to come up with a plan, you’ve got to stick to it.

“I have been there and I have the benefit of experience. I’ve been through this many times, so I know, unequivocally, what we need to do, but for a lot of these guys, it’s the first time and I’m always mindful of that wherever I’ve been.

“Always in the first season there are challenges.

“Players need to go through that and come out the other side and see that, ‘OK, we’ve survived that. It hasn’t killed us, we’re still going, we’re still alive, we’re still up for it,’ right? And then if anything, it can make us stronger going forward.

“My role in this is to guide the players through it. I know how we get through this and I know what the road ahead looks like, but they’ve got to go through it themselves and find out about it themselves.

“Do they want to be part of this because it’s not going to get any easier. That’s the one thing I keep telling them. There’s never going to be a time where it’s going to be smooth – not while I’m at the club.

“Even when things are going well. I’m going to be pushing for us to be better. I’m going to be pushing for us to improve and pushing for us to bring success to this football club.

“So, there’s never going to be a time where they can feel any sort of comfort that things are going to run smoothly. The more they embrace this side of it, the better.”

Tottenham’s major problem in recent weeks has been turning their dominance into goals and they have scored only once in four of their last five matches.

Postecoglou’s team gained plaudits for being great entertainers during the opening months of the campaign when they embarked on a 10-match unbeaten run, but he knows they must marry that with a killer edge.

“I don’t play this kind of football to entertain. I play this kind of football because it wins,” he said.

Ange Postecoglou reacts
Postecoglou’s Tottenham suffered a narrow defeat at home to West Ham on Thursday night (John Walton/PA)

“Now it happens to also entertain, which I like, but I don’t think they need to be mutually exclusive.

“My whole career has been about winning things. That’s why I want us to play the way we are.

“That’s where you can sometimes fall down a trap and it’s happened at every club I’ve been at, where the players sometimes think playing that football is enough – it’s not.”